Ford Mastang GT 5.0: Driven
By Kabelo Monethe
100 000, that’s how many units of the Mustang Ford predicted they would sell in its first year of production, but that proved to be wrong as they sold 400 000 in the first year, and the millionth car was sold within the second year of the car being in production. So, its quite popular and we recently had the chance to drive one and find out why it’s so loved.
The Mustang we fortunately had the chance to sample is the Fastback GT, and our test unit came in the Lucid Red Metallic color which though dark and sedated, did not take away from how much attention this car command. The front of the car is characterized by a new grille, with new LED headlights on each side, very subtle changes from the first Mustang we received in South Africa. Along with the changes made to the front, Ford also added “vents” to the bonnet of the Mustang. Although they have no functional benefits, they do add to how the car looks and emphasize the “muscle” this car possesses underneath the bonnet. The side of the car is characterized by two line, one at the shoulder line and the other at the bottom, in between wheels. Our test unit was dressed in the black 19” Luster Nickel Alloy wheels which look really cool with their multi-spoke design. The rear features new LED taillights, the GT badge and quad pipes that deliver a sonorous sound (more of that later).
The biggest changes to the Mustang are in the interior, with the new fully configurable 12.3-inch instrument cluster, which will change how it looks based on which drive mode you are in and I am particularly fond of how it looks in Sport and Race Mode, with a long tachometer that runs the top of the screen and leads into the speedometer located on the right side – it looks cool and has a very modernised retro look to it. The other big change to the interior is the centre screen, which now features the Ford’s Sync 3 and that means Apple CarPlay. Although a bit slow, the centre screen is easy to read and easy to use. The only gripe I have against it is how hard it is to use when you are driving. Without a passenger, a task as simple as trying to input a destination into the navigation system is impossible. Luckily though, Ford’s voice command system is brilliant and understood most of the commands we gave. The interior quality overall is not bad, and though there are a lot of places made of plastics, it is an interior we would gladly live with.
And we would live with that interior because of the 5-litre engine located in the bonnet. It makes some of the best sound in a modern car. Everywhere we drove, even slowly, people would turn because of that beautiful V8 rumble. The engine makes 331kW and 529Nm and Ford claims it will do 0 to 100km/h in just 4.3 seconds. Under hard acceleration, it sounds Amazing, especially when you have the car in Sport or Race mode but put it in Quiet mode and it becomes surprisingly tame.
The engine is mated to a new 10-speed gearbox which, is not the best in terms of sportiness but offers great comfort. Changing up or down using the paddle shifts can be a bit frustrating for sporty driving as it takes a bit of a while for the gearbox to heed your instructions. Nonetheless, if you leave the gearbox to do its thing while in comfort mode, it complements the Mustang’s cruiser character. Beware though, it is not the most courteous when it comes to fuel consumption, but again, one could argue that you do not buy a 5-litre V8 muscle car for how nice it is to the environment.